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Aricept proves effective in first-ever Alzheimer's study on Hispanics


CHICAGO According to the Evaluating Aricept Treatment in Hispanics study, the Alzheimer’s disease drug Aricept, which is manufactured by Eisai and Pfizer, showed significant improvements in cognition in Hispanic patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s after 12 weeks of use.

The study was composed of 106 Hispanic men and women from across the country. Each patient was at least 50 years old and had a diagnosis of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s. In order to most accurately measure the effectiveness of the drug in Hispanics, special measurement tools with little language bias were selected for use in the EARTH study. For instance, the Fuld Object Memory Evaluation assessment reduces dependence on spoken English, and it has been proven effective in detecting cognitive impairment and in the diagnosis of AD in Spanish-speaking individuals. The Symbol Digit Modality Test is also extremely sensitive for detecting dementia and has minimal cultural bias. A third, commonly used measurement included the Mini-Mental State Examination.

All three tests showed significant improvement in the patients.

“We know the Hispanic community is in need of increased education on the benefits of diagnosing and treating AD early,” said Oscar Lopez, professor, department of neurology, University of Pittsburgh, and the first author of the EARTH. “This news should serve as a call to action for Hispanic families to watch for early signs of AD among their loved ones and speak with a doctor as soon as possible if symptoms are suspected.”

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